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Restaurateur Alan Yau (pictured, right) is to relaunch his company’s latest acquisition – The Endurance pub on Soho’s Berwick Street – as a ‘Chinese gastropub’.
The venue – a high-decibel indie hangout which has recently closed its doors – had gained a lunchtime following for its decent pub grub, a traditional line-up of dishes such as sausage and mash, slow-cooked stews and burgers; it had also started to host foodie pop-ups.
Yau is expected to scrap the status quo: few details are available about the menu or drinks offerings, but the restaurateur will likely introduce the sort of concept he has become known for – namely good-value Far-Eastern small plates tailored to western tastes and expectations.
This is the first foray into pubs for the serial restaurateur, who founded Hakkasan and Yauatcha and launched successful chains including Wagamama and Busaba Eathai, plus standalone ventures such as Cha Cha Moon, Princi and Naamyaa Café.
The idea of fast-casual dining – Asian or otherwise – fits well with a pub model, where punters are now used to sharing snacks and small plates over drinks. However, with the recent debate about the term ‘gastropub’ having died a death through overuse, it remains to be seen whether a Chinese version can reinvigorate the term.
The new-look Endurance will reopen in early 2014.